Clay County Republican Judson Sapp landed another endorsement for his bid to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.
His latest backer is Putnam County Superintendent of Schools Rick Surrency, who weighed in on the crowded CD 3 Republican primary on Tuesday.
“Judson Sapp is the common sense, conservative leader we need in Congress. He has deep roots in Putnam County and understands our needs. Judson Sapp will work with our local leaders to keep moving Putnam County in the right direction,” Surrency said.
Surrency worked in education for four decades before being elected to the Superintendent post in 2016. He joins U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and John Rutherford and several other current and former elected leaders in backing Sapp’s congressional bid.
“I appreciate having Superintendent Rick Surrency’s support,” Sapp said. “He has served Putnam County as a leader in education for decades. Rick has drastically improved the Putnam School District’s performance in his three years as Superintendent and I look forward to working with him to keep the momentum.”
Sapp, who primaried Yoho in 2018, was an early entrant in CD 3, though the Republican field has ballooned in the weeks since Yoho announced he would forego a fifth term representing the North Central Florida district.
Other GOP contenders include former Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy, former Yoho staffer Kat Cammack, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, Clay County Commissioner Gavin Rollins, physician James St. George, businesswoman Amy Pope Wells.
The field could grow further — earlier this month Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase launched an exploratory committee to test the waters for a run.
With a crowded race, fundraising could prove a determining factor. Thus far, only Cammack has previewed her fourth-quarter numbers. Her campaign says it raised more than $100,000 in the final three weeks of the year.
Wells has not uploaded her Q4 numbers, though she had raised about $40,000 and had $8,500 in the bank at the end of September. Sapp, meanwhile, could be preparing to drop a monster report — in October, the campaign announced it had cleared the $100K mark within 24 hours of Sapp entering the race.
CD 3 covers Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Putnam and Union counties as well as part of Marion. Five Democrats have also filed for the seat, though CD 3 is solidly Republican — Yoho won reelection by 15 points in 2018.